Are you using your newsletter to bring people along on a journey?

One of my favorite things about the newsletter genre is that it’s like a passenger train with a specific destination in mind—learn more about X; enjoy more Y; or become amazing at Z—and with each issue more passengers decide to board and travel with the conductor (creator).

Let’s extend this further.

Your open rate is the number of people who not only boarded the train, but who are actually paying attention to the announcements.

Your click rate represents the people who think your announcements are really interesting and worth exploring (maybe this train is making stops like a trolley tour and encouraging riders to visit relevant sites).

The 1:1 responses you get from people (we’re talking actual replies) represent the people who are A) getting the most out of the journey and want to personally let you know OR B) not sure why they’re on this ride and want you to know they could do it better (be careful how much weight you give these people).

And on and on, issue after issue, the growing crowd of people who’ve joined you for this ride experience an adventure of your creation—opening, clicking, responding, absorbing, and deciding with each send if the ride is worth the effort.

Are you connecting? Bringing people along? Building excitement?

Are you attracting an audience that finds it helpful and comforting—perhaps thrilling—to join you in this journey?

Today’s Opt In Challenge (last section of the newsletter for anyone new this week) involves learning how to whisper pitch, which essentially means to sell without being obnoxious. To me, that means emailing with the intention to be so valuable to your reader that when you tell them what you sell they have no doubt it will be good.

And for the editorial newsletter creators in the crowd, it could be that your whisper pitch is simply your next issue, aka the next leg of the journey.

Hoping you find today’s roundup of resources as exciting as I do.

Ashley Guttuso  

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Newsletter Tips

2 Things We Learned Launching An Event-Specific Newsletter

Today’s Prologue was partly inspired by the engagement we saw with the Newsletter Fest newsletter. We definitely brought people along for the journey with that one.

We launched a landing page, promised we’d update subscribers as speakers and sessions were added, and published about once a week for six weeks leading up to the event.

The screenshot you’re seeing is from the week of the event. Our average open rate was 62% and average click rate was 18%. In other words, people welcomed this newsletter and clicked to sign up for sessions.

What we learned:

  1. A newsletter isolated to an event can perform better than a traditional newsletter that mentions an event in each issue. It gives the most interested people a chance to receive the updates they want and when you deliver what you promise in your value proposition, they engage. They got exactly what they signed up for and the time factor (we were counting down to an event that would take up time on their calendars) meant there was more urgency to open than a traditional newsletter.
  2. A newsletter is a great MVP for almost any idea you have. Subscriptions let us know people were interested before we had a full speaker lineup and schedule. Again, this goes back to the journey concept. Thinking of launching a business that solves for a specific need? Try seeing if a newsletter gets any traction. Look especially at the metrics around the link categories that could indicate they’d buy what you’re thinking of selling.



Money Matters

Curated News Curated News

ICYMI: We now have a Curated Public Product Roadmap! Check out our recent releases and what’s up next.


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Like this newsletter?

Let me know. Reply, email me at Ashley[at], or find me on LinkedIn to hit me with some feedback. I’d love to know what you think.

Also, I’d appreciate it if you shared it with fellow email newsletter creators. All archived issues will be available on, so you can send them the link to check it out.

Have a great week sending, y’all.

Thanks for reading,

Ashley Guttuso